Samaranayake, Marquez aim for WSG leadership

Junior duo hopes to help as potential President, VP


Photo courtesy of Pasan Samaranayake

WSG presidential candidate Pasan Samaranayake, right, with running mate Marco Marquez.

Benjamin Pierce, Assistant News Editor

Pasan Samaranayake could be the next Whitewater Student Government (WSG) president. The junior economics major is running against incumbent candidate Tom Kind in the presidential election, which ends Friday, April 6.

The aspiring professor wants to become president to give back to a place that literally saved his life.

“When I first came here, I was going through a depression,” Samaranayake said. “This campus offered me the best thing I could have asked for to defeat depression in the University Health Services. After that, the university has continued to give me other opportunities such as student government to better myself.”

Samaranayake has served campus on the SUFAC committee and has been WSG’s Academic Affairs Director since February 2017, working with students, administrators and other faculty. He also played a major part in a movement to allow business majors to also declare minors in business, which is new to the university.

“I believe I have the ideal amount of experience to qualify me for the position of president,” Samaranayake said.

He is running alongside junior Marco Marquez, who will serve as Vice President if the pair is elected.

Marquez is the president of his fraternity and also serves as the Vice President of Latinos Unidos, a student organization for latino students on campus. He also took a few years off school to worked full-time as a sales manager.

“I think my leadership skills and professional experience will help me talk about the nitty-gritty part of politics,” Marquez said.

Overall, the pair has big goals for campus, including more inclusivity and focus on the impending merger with UW-Rock County.

“I have noticed over time that student government seems to be operating within the university center,” Samaranayake said. “I think we do a good job reaching out to student organizations but not necessarily students on campus.”

Samaranayake proposed the idea of meetings with residence halls to keep students informed and working more with residence assistants to keep people in the loop with WSG happenings.

“We could also foster better relationships within the individual colleges on campus to help them get their degrees and we will be focused on the UW system restructuring to make sure that UW-Rock County and UW-Whitewater students’ needs are met,” Samaranayake said.

Marquez wants to improve on outreach as well.

“We can do more with diversity inclusivity on campus,” Marquez said. “There is a lot of communication about it on campus, but to be honest there really hasn’t been a lot of action.”

Votes can be cast at